Rockland County Downtown
July 10, 2024

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of 14 Affordable Apartments with Supportive Services for Veterans in Rockland County

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of 14 Affordable Apartments with Supportive Services for Veterans in Rockland County
$5.4 Million Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments Project Increases the Supply of Permanent Supportive Housing for Veterans Who Have Experienced Homelessness
Supplements New York State’s Ongoing Efforts to Expand Supportive Housing Opportunities Across the State

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of the $5.4 million Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments, a newly constructed 14-unit permanent supportive housing development for veterans located on the former Camp Shanks military station in Rockland County. This project was developed in partnership with Rockland Homes for Heroes, a nonprofit created to build housing for formerly homeless veterans. 

“Homelessness and housing insecurity require a holistic approach that connects vulnerable New Yorkers to housing, but also to the services which help ensure they can establish stable lives in their communities,” Governor Hochul said. “We have an obligation to provide essential services to our veterans who have done so much to keep our nation safe and advance the cause of freedom across the globe.” 

Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments was constructed on land deeded to Homes for Heroes by the federal government specifically for this purpose. The former Camp Shanks in Orangetown was the largest embarkation camp used by the U.S. Army during World War II. These 14 new apartments supplement eight supportive housing units on the property previously constructed by Rockland Homes for Heroes. These apartments will assist veterans who have experienced homelessness from Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester counties. 

State support for this project includes $3 million from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Homeless Housing and Assistance program, $1.5 million from New York State Homes and Community Renewal Housing Trust Fund and $49,000 from NYSERDA. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is also providing operating funding through their Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. Support services, provided by Loeb House on-site and through other community organizations, include case management, job readiness training, healthcare, and service coordination inclusive of tenant and veteran treatment providers. 

This project complements Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will build or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes. Additionally, this state funding for Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments represents a crucial component to New York State’s commitment of ensuring that Veterans can access safe, sustainable, accessible housing in our state. New York’s recent pilot program of a Veterans Emergency Assistance Housing Fund, which provided financial aid to Veterans facing dire housing situations, likewise furthered this objective by providing critical support to Veterans who were homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. This program is one among dozens of state veterans benefits and services administered by DVS and partner agencies that amount to investments of well over $200 million dollars supporting New York's Veterans and their families in the current fiscal year. New York’s partnerships and collaborations with legal services organizations throughout the state also help ensure that Veterans facing housing challenges receive proper advice and representation in landlord-tenant proceedings and other housing-related matters. 

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “Supportive housing is a critical and proven tool in helping to stabilize the lives of people who have experienced homelessness, providing access not only to a safe, affordable home but to the supportive services they need to thrive. Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments is addressing an important need among veterans in Rockland County and throughout the region.”

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Creating affordable, modern homes for New Yorkers has never been more important, and that’s especially true for our veterans who have bravely served our nation but may be struggling with homelessness. By partnering with organizations such as Rockland Homes for Heroes, the State can make the types of investments that provide servicemembers with a safe place to live and access to the services that give them the opportunity to live healthier and more independent lives.” 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “We are proud to partner with our sister agencies on Homes for Heroes Veterans Apartments to provide veterans in Rockland County with affordable housing that also provides supportive services. NYSERDA’s programs enable more New Yorkers to benefit from energy efficient buildings that are healthy and comfortable to live in while costing less to operate.” 

New York State Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen said, “No Veteran should ever be unhoused or face housing insecurity. Initiatives such as Homes For Heroes and New York State’s successful pilot program of the Veterans Emergency Housing Assistance Fund help to ensure that Veterans in our state have a safe, stable, accessible place to call home. It is the least that we can do for all that they have given us.” 

State Senator Bill Weber said, “These much needed housing units are a welcome addition to Rockland County. This is yet another great accomplishment for Homes for Heroes, which does selfless work for our veterans, and precisely why I was honored to nominate its founder, John Murphy, to the NYS Veterans Hall of Fame from the 38th Senate District earlier this year.” 

Rockland Homes For Heroes Founder and President John Murphy said, “The new 14 homes for homeless veterans were only made possible by Governor Hochul and New York State. They stayed by our side from Day One with encouragement and professional guidance until the job was done.”